High quality products key for most exporters

Seven out of 10 firms that sold goods and services overseas reported that quality was a key factor that helped their business compete in those markets, Stats NZ said today.

“According to exporting businesses, experienced managerial staff and a valuable brand were also important factors for competing overseas,” business performance manager Geraldine Duoba said.

“These three factors – quality, management, and brand – are important regardless of the size of the firm, but are most prominent for big firms, employing more than 100 staff.”

Business size group 6-19 employees 20-49 employees 50-99 employees 100+ employees Overall
High quality goods and/or services 69 67 73 78 70
Experienced managerial staff 53 53 59 61 54
A valuable brand 46 52 59 66 50
Ability to customise 42 42 48 45 43
Experienced non-managerial staff 26 29 32 38 28

Innovation also plays an important role in creating a competitive advantage – two out of three exporters were innovators, coming up with new or better goods and services, operational and organisational processes, or marketing methods.

“Exporters are more likely to innovate as this allows them to compete and increase their export value,” Ms Duoba said.

Almost one-in-five New Zealand firms exported goods and services in 2019, about the same as in 2015, the last time information on international engagement was collected. Most of these businesses sold manufactured or finished goods and services. Other exports may be in the form of raw or unprocessed materials or technology.

The business operations survey reports on businesses with six or more employees.

The 2019 survey included questions on business operations, innovation, and international engagement. Businesses are surveyed on innovation every two years, and about international engagement on a less frequent basis.

/Stats NZ Public Release. View in full here.